Bookshelves and New York Therapists (Part II)

Don’t you hate when you read back over an earlier post only to realize you ended it with “To be continued” and then obviously forgot about it for some time? Well, maybe it’s just me. Nonetheless, I possibly didn’t continue that post because there wasn’t an exciting enough ending at the time. And now there is…

So I’d been getting a little more than frantic about my move to the great Northwest–not because of moving itself, but because I really just wanted to have a landing spot. I’m joining my cousin in Northern California, but without having an apartment squared away, there was just this “unsettled” feeling. Like you’re about to fly 2,000 miles away and you don’t have a home. Yeah. Pretty much that. So I was on craigslist morning, noon and night, looking for an apartment. I’m fortunate in that my cousin is, in fact there–because looking for apartments whilst 2,000 miles away is no easy task. She could go and view the places I was interested in – so very helpful. There were a lot of postings beginning to show up, because I’m moving in the vicinity of a university–so with the school semester ending, apartments were starting to surface. The biggest issue for me, though, was finding a place with both a reasonable rent *and* one that allowed cats. My cat of 15 years died recently, and the one thing that drug me (kicking and screaming) out of the desolate depression of grief was knowing that I would get another. I’d already paid a deposit on one in California, in fact–before even finding a place to live. It was that important. Also, I’m allergic to most cats, so I wanted to find a breed I could likely be ok with–so there was that as a factor. Anyway, so I was looking and finding it really difficult to find a place that would allow cats – which strikes me as odd, because in New York, almost everyone allowed pets. My theory was that if you lived in New York without a pet to ground you, you were more likely to turn into a homicidal maniac.

Finally, I posted a “housing wanted” ad of my own, explaining that I was a 30-something female with a cat and had a job and a post-graduate degree, and blah blah blah. I got a few replies, mostly nothing I was all that interested in because it was too expensive or else they wanted to haggle over the presence of the cat. Which I found really ridiculous, because all of the ads for apartments on there make it very clear NO PETS – NO EXCEPTIONS! so why the hell would they think that suddenly they could coerce me to get rid of my cat to move into their place? Hypothetical cat, mind you. It was a little thrilling to be the one saying no, at least. “Sorry, thanks for the reply, but the cat really isn’t a bargaining point.” At least I felt like I was the one in control.

And then I got this email. It said, “Hi, I think you might be perfect for the studio attached to my farmhouse. I raise alpacas, hops, vegetables, and legal medical herbs on 5 acres of land just outside of town.”

I laughed. My brain kind of froze and I thought, “Wait? Aren’t alpacas like llamas?” So I looked them up on wikipedia. Yep. Fuzzy llamas. The absurdity of it was too much. Me, living on an alpaca ranch with some hippie type who grows legal weed. And, as my life revolves around the absurd, it just made perfect sense. In fact, nothing made more sense. I wrote back, and then called the woman. She was awesome. I mean really. Awesome. Like Willie Nelson awesome. Like the “hippie godmother from heaven” awesome.

She told me about the apartment–all redwood floors, counters, and – get this – a built-in, redwood bookshelf. Alpacas roaming about, plenty of quiet wilderness to wander in, legal herb garden, and my own little plot of land to myself. For my own garden. And she’s cool with my hypothetical cat.

The only thing that stood in the way of making this dream a reality was concerns about a car. My cousin, who made plans to go view the apartment for me, expressed this concern and I worried about it. 3 miles outside of town is fine when you can drive–but in a place that’s known for its “rainy season,” walking wouldn’t necessarily be grand. So I thought of different options. I’d saved enough money to possibly work on getting a used car there. I considered a vespa scooter – but my cousin reiterated the rain. I wasn’t sure. And also, I wasn’t sure that the place would be cool anyway. As much as I’d fallen in “godmother love” with the landlord, for all I knew it could be a dilapidated dump. So I waited, and wondered. And worried. And hoped.

The day for my cousin’s viewing came and went and … I waited. Finally, I got a call. “You HAVE to take that apartment. YOU HAVE TO!” She was on her way out the door, and I didn’t get details until the following day. It was great. The landlord rocks. The alpacas rock. It’s heavenly. And the landlord would work with me to help me with the car.

I called her and she offered to let me pay only 1/2 of the deposit now–so that I could prioritize getting “mobile,” and pay the other “just when you can.” She talked about how we’d be friends, how I’d be getting there just as everything was blooming. How it was time for the alpaca shearing and I’d see them in their “before and after” glory.

And. I. Couldn’t. Feel. Happier.

I’ve learned in my life to expect as little as possible out of things–and the more you want something to work out–the less you should expect it to. That sounds pessimistic, and I’m not. I’m just an optimist who’s had her hopes crushed enough times to at least attempt to protect myself. I may hate California. Although I doubt it. I may hate the rain – but I kinda doubt that too. Mostly, I look forward to looking at that redwood bookshelf and bringing home my new kitten… and trying out a new life and a new home.

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds intriguing.


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